I was reading the book _The Rough Guide to Pregnancy_ last night (thanks, Heather!), which was making me giggle. Any book that uses the phrase "boring as batshit" is okay by me. Although the section on preconception is quite brief, there are a few interesting questions at the end of the section us preconceiving women can think about and/or record (in a blog, for example) for future reference.
Why do we want to have a baby?
Probably the most basic question, but hardest to answer. Part of it is simply instinct; an inherent need to do what nature intended, for lack of a better description. When I was younger, I didn't feel ready to have a baby but I couldn't say with any certainty that I never wanted kids (which became a real problem when my partner through my 20s was adamant about never having kids). I didn't really know that I wanted a child until a year or so ago, and I think that has a lot to do with having a fantastic partner and being in a great relationship, having a good job that I truly enjoy, and having a more stable/secure life in general. So as to why we want kids, maybe the answer is that I don't really know. It's not that tangible. It's a feeling of wanting to take care of a being that is part of the two of us, to share my life, love, and experiences with our child.
What do we expect?
I have learned not to have any expectations because they never turn out like I had imagined. What I have discovered is that many things about pregnancy and birth have completely surprised me. I think the author summed it up perfectly when she said that she thought pregnancy would be like her but with a bump in front. I thought that it would mostly involve throwing up for the first few months, odd cravings, and getting fat (I think television has influenced me too much). Who knew about breathlessness, nausea in the last trimester, false labour, the constant need to pee, etc.? Then there's motherhood. I really don't know what to expect, but I do know what I want to avoid. There are promises that I will make to my child that I will never break.
What are we doing in preparation?
You've read it all here, folks. Um, except that the dieting isn't going so well because I've been insanely hungry lately. And the exercise is nonexistent. *cough* Got my appointment with the nurse today, though. Will write an update about that later. I've also started taking my temperature every morning.
What about work?
I'm really struggling with this one and I'm finding this hard to sort out. I can probably afford to take three months off work (and I know that Paul wouldn't hesitate to support me financially if I wanted to take more time off), but the bigger dilemma is about returning to work. I always thought that I'd take some time off, then gradually return to work (i.e. work from home full time, then come in one or two days a week, etc.). I didn't think about what I'd do about returning to work full time. Would we put the baby in daycare? Could we afford it? Could I work from home on a permanent basis? At this point, I don't think I'd want to quit work completely. I really like my job and can't imagine not working, full stop. I have a feeling that this is something that we won't know about until we're actually parents.